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Taking a cooler or ice chest away with you on a short camping trip is a great way to keep food and drinks cold. Here are the best five ice chests and coolers to use outdoors.

Yeti Tundra 65 - Best overall cooler

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler (Desert Tan)
338 Reviews
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler (Desert Tan)
  • The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for your backyard barbecue, this ice chest is plenty roomy, holding a limit of redfish or your prized brisket
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey
  • All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
  • The Tundra 65 dimensions are 30 1/2 in long x 17 1/2 in wide x 16 in high with an empty weight of 29 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.

​The Tundra 65 is a highly capable cooler that despite its moniker has a 56 quarts capacity; not anything larger. It does, however, offer a basket that can be lifted right out, which is convenient when camping. It is rated by IGBC, which you’d expect to see in modern products in this category.

The insulation is top-notch here. The latch system is easy to use and robust. These latches won’t let you down on a trip. The cooler can be expected to keep food and drinks below 40-degrees for around six days.

With the Tundra, it has a range of extra accessories to add-in. These provide various options depending on what you’re wanting to do, like keep certain items separate from each other. This is typical of well-regarded brands compared to an economy model where that’s not expected.

There is no leash for the plug. However, in other respects, this is a highly usable cooler for camping trips. It’s certainly the best product we’ve seen overall.

Engel 65 - best high end model cooler

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ENGEL ENG65 High Performance Cooler - White
65 Reviews
ENGEL ENG65 High Performance Cooler - White
  • Best in class ice retention and overall performance, holds ice for up to 10 days
  • Rotationally molded with 2 inches of high density closed-cell polyurethane insulation all round and is certified Bear-Resistant - so its vertually industructable and built to last!
  • IGBC Certified bear resistant container - when 2 locks used
  • Silicone airtight gasket, adjustable recessed marine grade compression latches and UV-Resistant Contruction
  • Dry Ice compatable. Non-Marking rubber feet. 10 year warranty

The Engel 65 is considerably pricier, and it shows. It comes with an interesting color choice which surely makes it stand out from the crowd of other coolers. The capacity is 54 quarts, which is perfectly fine for most traveling singletons, groups or families.

Part of the higher end design includes a gasket that keeps warm air out, a hinge with an interlocking design, and durable roto-molding. The rope handles take a little getting used to though. The 25.5-pound weight is in the mid-range of the weight for different coolers under review. Anyone who doesn’t have strong arms will appreciate that this model isn’t overly heavy.  

The hinge has a different design than other coolers or ice boxes reviewed. It’s a little smoother during use compared to the T-shaped hinges that require a firmness to almost force them into position. This hinge has a bit more finesse to it. The cooler is capable of keeping stored items below 40 degrees for at least 5 days. The Engel 65 is the classier model too if that’s what you’re looking for with your cooling needs.

Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt - Best value buy (tight budget)

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Coleman Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days | Heavy-Duty 70-Quart Cooler for Camping, BBQs, Tailgating & Outdoor Activities
465 Reviews
Coleman Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days | Heavy-Duty 70-Quart Cooler for Camping, BBQs, Tailgating & Outdoor Activities
  • XTREME TECHNOLOGY: Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
  • HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 100 cans
  • HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid supports up to 250 lb.
  • CUP HOLDERS: Molded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling
  • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLES: No-crush design with positive stop for pinch-free carrying

​Coleman is a popular name in camping gear. They tend to be on the more affordable end of the market, but sometimes there is more than one model to choose from. There isn’t much different with the Xtreme cooler, in that it stays below 40 degrees for up to four days at a stretch. It holds at least 68 quarts too, despite weighing in at surprisingly light 11.9 pounds. It is only beaten by the Igloo, which shaved a few more grams of the weight, but it has less than half the capacity.

The insulation is sufficient to keep food and drinks cool, yet it’s not airtight like it is in some other ice boxes on the market. The plain nature of the design won’t win any design awards here. The handles are also tough to get used to and a bit uncomfortable. However, given the lighter weight, it’s manageable compared to more comfortable handles fitted to boxes that weigh several times more before you load them up.

For people on a much smaller budget, the Coleman Xtreme is a good all-round choice. You won’t get the bells and whistles here, but that’s typical of this brand where buyers want value at the right price.

RovR RollR 60 - Best wheeled cooler

RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels (60 qt.) (Powder)
27 Reviews
RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels (60 qt.) (Powder)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE, PUNCTURE-RESISTANT TIRES! Our coolers ride on 9-inch all-terrain tires mounted on five-spoke aluminum hubs. They’re fast, agile, durable and awesome in sand.
  • UP TO 10 DAYS OF ICE! That's what you get when you combine a rotomolded, elevated body with an airtight gasket and thick foam insulation.
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Without Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 60 cans and 20lbs. of ice. With Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 40 cans and 10 pounds of ice in main compartment and 4-6 bottles of spirits upright with meats, breads, fruits and vegies in dry compartments.
  • DRY STORAGE BIN INCLUDED: Deep Freeze removable Dry Bin with 2 compartments *BikR Kit sold separately *Table and Cupholder sold separately
  • Winner of the MEN'S JOURNAL 2018 GEAR OF THE YEAR Award for the most feature-packed cooler!

​The RovR RollR is included because it comes with a set of chunk wheels to pull it down the trail, so you don’t have to carry it. This makes the RollR hugely attractive to people with a bad back, who lack the arm strength or just prefer life on wheels.

It has a solid 60 quarts capacity and will keep its storage area below 40 degrees for at least four days. It does weigh just over 40 pounds, so it’s a hefty one. Getting it out of the trunk is going to require some effort – you may wish to empty out the food and drink first and reload once it is on the ground – but once you’re rolling along, the extra weight won’t matter.

The model comes with some accessories, but the design has fiddly latches that aren’t the simplest to use. However, the main selling point is it’s like a suitcase with rollers – only better. And who can argue with that?

Igloo BMX 25 - Best pick for personal

Sale
Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 11.29 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
377 Reviews
Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 11.29 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
  • STURDY LATCHES & ERGONOMIC HANDLE: The BMX cooler comes with a unique t-grip latch system. The rubberized latches secure the lid to lock in the cold. With a triple-point grab handle and stainless steel reinforcements, the ergonomic handle makes this weekend cooler portable. The addition of skid pads add an extra layer of corner protection.
  • HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION: This insulated cooler was blow-molded for added durability. Coupled with oversized hinges and stainless steel screws, the reinforced base and diamond kick plate metal increase strength and protection. Also, the lid features a fish ruler and 4 tie-down loops for added convenience. The hard cooler can even double as a seat.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & KEEPS ICE FROZEN: Externally, the cooler measures 19.59” L x 13.25” W x 15.70” H. On its own, the BMX 25 QT Cooler weighs about 11.29 lbs., which is about half the weight of other brands. It can hold up to 25 quarts or 37 12-ounce cans. It can keep ice for up to 4 days at 90ºF. Store water bottles, beer cans, soda, or lunch in this cooler from Igloo in your truck bed or backseat.
  • THE PERFECT GIFT: This cutting-edge ice chest makes the ideal gift for individuals that like camping, fishing, tailgating, beach trips, and other outdoor activities. It could even be used by construction workers or other professionals that spend their workdays outdoors. Gift this bear-resistant cooler to a friend or add it to your own gear.
  • ABOUT IGLOO: Born from a modest metalworking shop back in 1947, Igloo has been instrumental in redefining how we live, work, and play. We haven’t lost sight of our original goal—to create products that enable the pursuit of happiness (however you define it). That’s why we’re still working hard every day to innovate, create, and make it easier for you to get out, work hard, and play even harder.

The Igloo rounds out our five products under review with the BMX 25 cooler. This one is a dinky version with a 25 quarts capacity. It’s intended for singletons and undemanding families who would prefer something else other than a Coleman and don’t need anything like that capacity either.

The BMX 25 will keep under 40 degrees for 2-3 days or more. It has good insulation yet there’s no airtight seal, so air or water can get inside. The latches and hinges also leave something to be desired, even though they function just fine.

The 11.3-pound weight is the lightest in the group, but with its 25-quart capacity, that makes sense. The walls are thicker than you might expect, which accounts for why it’s almost as heavy as the Coleman Xtreme, but it offers less than half its storage capacity.

For someone who doesn’t need or want a large cooler but still wants to keep food fresh and drinks cold enough, this Igloo model ticks a lot of boxes.

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